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Walking Sticks! (yes, i know)

Charles Ross

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Two people to walk the Camino de Santiago in the spring of (2018)
I know the subject of 'walking sticks' has been covered innumerable number of times but I have never seen a certain aspect of these aids discussed: How long to make adjustable poles relative to your height. I just completed the Frances in late May and had several comments that my poles were adjusted too short, including from my walking partner.
Other hikers claim that the poles are at an optimal length when you are standing still, holding the poles next to you with your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle, forearms parallel to the ground.
I've found the optimal height to be about 45-50 degrees, turning the poles, in a sense, into another set of legs and hips that can drive you forward as you walk. The poles, at 90 degrees, are 'weak' for this purpose. It's comparable to the strength one has pedaling a bicycle when a leg is at the top of the stroke. If you are cycling and each leg reaches that 90 degree angle putting your upper leg parallel to the ground, you need to raise your seat!! At 90 degree angle from the body sticks offers a walker balance but little else.
I don't have any problems with balance. What I do need, at age 71, is a meaningful amount of weight taken off feet, ankles, knees as I walk. When I walk on flat ground i generally carry the poles. When I walk uphill the poles drive me up that hill. When I walk downhill the shorter poles can be used to 'push back' on me to slow my descent.
Any thoughts out there besides 'do what works for you' : ).
 
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C clearly

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Most years since 2012
I am not at all an expert on this topic, so please take my comments accordingly!

Different people have different needs for their poles. I am more interested in having them help my balance, posture and rhythm, with a minor relief of load. It sounds to me like you want to use the poles as weight-bearing canes or crutches, and only to assist on uphill stretches. I am not surprised that you carry them when you walk on flat ground, if they are too short to help much with walking.

Here is my amateur analysis... On a bicycle, your body is fixed in position relative to the bicycle. When you walk, your body is moving forward relative to the pole and its point of contact with the ground. When you plant the pole and stride forward, by the time the downward force is transmitted to the ground, the pole will have passed the point of being perpendicular to the ground. At that point, your hand will be closer to the ground. If your poles were too short at the start, they will not be able to take any weight as you follow through. When they leave the ground the contact point with the ground should will be well behind your body.

Mine are fixed at the length that gives me a 90 degree angle, and I adjust my hand position on the poles to account for ascents, descents, irregular terrain, or even just for variety.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
With my PacerPoles I set them to point A on the lower limb and to 8 on the upper (PP users will understand this) which sets my elbow at about 95 degrees and allows for a smooth "roll through" on flattish ground.

If I'm using more conventional poles I'll set them a fair bit longer so the angle is more like 80 degrees. It just feels better for me that way. For steeper ground I will adjust them to suit. I don't seem to need to do this for my PPs.

My gait appears to be different (so I am told) when using the PPs. (?)

In the end it's what feels better for you I suppose.
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
I've always gone with 'elbow at 90 degree angle height'. They should be slightly shorter when going uphill and slightly longer when going downhill, but I keep them the same height all the time.
Most people hold their poles or flail them about like they are a praying mantis having a stroke. They should act like an extension of your arms and carry some of your weight. When walking they should be at this angle \ not | . I loved my poles, they helped pull me up hills and brace me on going down and helped me fly across the flats.
 

trecile

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Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I was told that I wasn't using my poles correctly when hoping uphill - I was using them to pull myself up rather than push me forward. I was slightly annoyed at first because I thought that my method was working for me, but with a little practice I found that the "push" method was more effective.

So my suggestion is to try setting the poles at the longer "correct" length and see how it works for you. And practice with them that way long enough to give them a true test, because it will probably feel awkward at first.
 
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I am not at all an expert on this topic, so please take my comments accordingly!

Different people have different needs for their poles. I am more interested in having them help my balance, posture and rhythm, with a minor relief of load. It sounds to me like you want to use the poles as weight-bearing canes or crutches, and only to assist on uphill stretches. I am not surprised that you carry them when you walk on flat ground, if they are too short to help much with walking.

Here is my amateur analysis... On a bicycle, your body is fixed in position relative to the bicycle. When you walk, your body is moving forward relative to the pole and its point of contact with the ground. When you plant the pole and stride forward, by the time the downward force is transmitted to the ground, the pole will have passed the point of being perpendicular to the ground. At that point, your hand will be closer to the ground. If your poles were too short at the start, they will not be able to take any weight as you follow through. When they leave the ground the contact point with the ground should will be well behind your body.

Mine are fixed at the length that gives me a 90 degree angle, and I adjust my hand position on the poles to account for ascents, descents, irregular terrain, or even just for variety.
have always adjusted my poles so that they are LONGER for going downhill! This helps me to stay upright and saves me using my nose for a snow plough :)

Samarkand.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Nordic walking uses poles. An internet search may yield some useful information.

I've got barely even coordination to use one pole and that is usually only used on dangerous downhills.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I adjust mine so that my forearms are slightly higher than a 90° angle when the poles are level. The trekking poles, like most these days, also have grips that extends down so they can be gripped lower if need be.
That works for me. I suppose it's all personal preference. I find the most important thing is how I move them in rhythm with my legs when walking. For maximum efficiency, and they only lightly strike the ground.
 
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xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Always amazed at the people who walk backwards down hills in a zig zag ....and they generally use walking poles. Why? Does not look like fun.
 

Tom Hagger

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés, Norte, Primitivo, Português, Plata etc.
Charles, like K_Lynn and several others, I never adjust the height of my poles for upward or downward slopes unless they are exceptionally steep. My optimum height is gauged by ensuring that my forearm is parallel to the ground when my elbows are by my sides. i.e. the 90-degree elbow bend mentioned above. Treciile's point about pushing rather than pulling on uphill slopes is certainly spot-on for steep inclines, and I think it worth taking the time to adjust the pole lengths on a long slope. For steep downward slopes, particularly if the ground surface has loose rocks or is slippery, I find that lengthening the poles makes them somewhat unwieldy: my standard length pole feels more secure in such cases. Having said this, each person must experiment to find out what suits them best, of course. Buen Camino! Tom
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
There are a bunch of videos on Youtube regarding this subject.
Also here is a story from REI regarding the use of hiking poles that may be of use.

Having some background knowledge may be a good jumping off point.
 

Linda SLP

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2014, Sept/Oct 2016, June 2018
I have my poles adjusted so that my hands are a little lower than level. When walking level, I don't set the tips in front of my hands. They're always angled back for propulsion.
 
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Gringazolana

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés
I never measured the angle but my poles are supposedly too long for my height (as indicated by the markings on the poles). I just set them so they are comfortable! I guess the angle is a little less than 90. I used to be a cross-country skier, so I took to them naturally. Am I doing it wrong?
 
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See signature. Too many to list here.
I'm with Rick. One stick. Buen Camino
Ok, so in 2019 I met a German woman just outside of Leon. I was actually walking by when I overheard the following, "and one breast was bigger than the other." It caught my attention.

Later when we connected I asked her about it. She was not shy.

Apparently in a walk previous, from SJPdP to Leon, she had been using one stick constantly, but she hurt her foot and had to stop. She had always walked with the one stick on the SAME side. She returned home and looked in the mirror to discover that one breast was now significantly different than the other. She said it took 2 years for her situation to normalize.

Now obviously I cannot relate, as I always walk with 2 sticks, um, and I'm male. I have no idea if this is a thing... but she seemed adamant about never walking with 1 stick again.

Your mileage may vary.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Ok, so in 2019 I met a German woman just outside of Leon. I was actually walking by when I overheard the following, "and one breast was bigger than the other." It caught my attention.

Later when we connected I asked her about it. She was not shy.

Apparently in a walk previous, from SJPdP to Leon, she had been using one stick constantly, but she hurt her foot and had to stop. She had always walked with the one stick on the SAME side. She returned home and looked in the mirror to discover that one breast was now significantly different than the other. She said it took 2 years for her situation to normalize.

Now obviously I cannot relate, as I always walk with 2 sticks, um, and I'm male. I have no idea if this is a thing... but she seemed adamant about never walking with 1 stick again.

Your mileage may vary.
When I switched from one conventional pole (right hand) to two PacerPoles the first thing I realised was that I had a tendency to lean to my left as I walked, the two poles helped straighten out my gait (so I'm told).
Walking with two poles also help improve my balance after a mild stroke left me swaying as I walked.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I'm with Rick. One stick. Buen Camino
Depends on what the purpose of the trekking poles, or single staff may be.
A lot of pilgrims walk with a single, tall staff. They don't use them in the same manner as a set of trekking poles would be used (if used properly). The tall staff isn't so much swinging in rhythm with the legs as the trekking poles are. Trekking poles in some ways mimic ski poles in cross country skiing. Nobody cross country skis with one pole that I know of.
Like I said, for optimum efficiency they should swing in sync with one's legs. As they say, it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing. :D
 
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backpack45

Active Member
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Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
Always amazed at the people who walk backwards down hills in a zig zag ....and they generally use walking poles. Why? Does not look like fun.
I haven't seen this, or done this, with poles but I do know that when I had messed up my knees skiing years ago, going downhill really hurt so I would change from going forward to backward to zig zag because each of those would be ok for a short time, but then start hurting--so changing to the other helped for a little while.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I have to admit that the OP left me confused about whether @Charles Ross had his upper and lower arm at 45-50 deg to each other, or 135-140 deg. I suspect the latter if the poles were seen to be shorter to others observing him.

I think it is a mistake to confuse how to best set an initial height for poles with how they get used. I would never recommend anyone plant the pole vertically when it is brought forward on each step.

On the flat, I would normally bring the pole forward so that the pole tip is behind the top of the handle, and plant the tip at about the same distance forward as the front of the opposite foot. It is then in a position to provide a combination of lift and drive. If you want more lift, shorten the poles so they become more vertical when they are planted. If you want more drive, increase the length. I find when I do this that I tend to place the tip somewhat behind the toe of the opposite foot, but you could reach out further as well.

I don't think my forearm is ever truly parallel to the ground when I do this on the flat, although it might be if I am climbing a slope where I don't adjust the pole length.

I do adjust the length of my poles for steeper slopes. It really is the work of a moment or two once done a few times. I don't recall having to do that very often on the Camino - most of the time small adjustments in arm position are sufficient on all but the steepest slopes.

Like the OP, I tend to walk with a slightly shorter length set, although nothing quite as short as I think he might be setting. Mine can be up to 5-7 cm shorter than if I set the length with my forearm and upper arm at 90 deg and my forearm parallel to the ground. It really depends on where I find it comfortable at the time. It would take the same amount or a little more to get to the angles he seems to be using.

If I forget to set then shorter when I am wearing raingear, there is an unfortunate tendancy for water to collect in the elbow of my rain jacket, which I then forget to drain before raising my arms for some task. Not pleasant at all!!
 

CharlieChu

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
5
I know the subject of 'walking sticks' has been covered innumerable number of times but I have never seen a certain aspect of these aids discussed: How long to make adjustable poles relative to your height. I just completed the Frances in late May and had several comments that my poles were adjusted too short, including from my walking partner.
Other hikers claim that the poles are at an optimal length when you are standing still, holding the poles next to you with your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle, forearms parallel to the ground.
I've found the optimal height to be about 45-50 degrees, turning the poles, in a sense, into another set of legs and hips that can drive you forward as you walk. The poles, at 90 degrees, are 'weak' for this purpose. It's comparable to the strength one has pedaling a bicycle when a leg is at the top of the stroke. If you are cycling and each leg reaches that 90 degree angle putting your upper leg parallel to the ground, you need to raise your seat!! At 90 degree angle from the body sticks offers a walker balance but little else.
I don't have any problems with balance. What I do need, at age 71, is a meaningful amount of weight taken off feet, ankles, knees as I walk. When I walk on flat ground i generally carry the poles. When I walk uphill the poles drive me up that hill. When I walk downhill the shorter poles can be used to 'push back' on me to slow my descent.
Any thoughts out there besides 'do what works for you' : ).
Here is a one-minute youtube video about Nordic Walking which shows why approx 90 degrees works well, and a demo showing the effect on the body if the poles are either too short or too long.

 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
Here is a one-minute youtube video about Nordic Walking
Just to be clear — I think Nordic Walking is a very different kettle of fish than what the average pilgrim does on the Camino. I have a friend who practices nordic walking, and she has explained to me that it engages the body and its musculo-skeletal system in very diffferent ways than “regular” walking with hiking poles. That may not affect the proper height for poles, but the rest of the enterprise is very different. Please correct me if I’m wrong, because I have no first hand experience with nordic walking.
 
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hawkeyepierce

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July 22
There are a bunch of videos on Youtube regarding this subject.
Also here is a story from REI regarding the use of hiking poles that may be of use.

Having some background knowledge may be a good jumping off point.
The REI info is great, though I think their suggestion of shorting/lengthening poles by 5-10cm for steep inclines or declines is probably overkill at least on the CF. The grades don’t really justify more than 2-4cm IMO.

Their advice is more appropriate for strenuous mountain hikes.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
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Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Just to be clear — I think Nordic Walking is a very different kettle of fish than what the average pilgrim does on the Camino. I have a friend who practices nordic walking, and she has explained to me that it engages the body and its musculo-skeletal system in very diffferent ways than “regular” walking with hiking poles. That may not affect the proper height for poles, but the rest of the enterprise is very different. Please correct me if I’m wrong, because I have no first hand experience with nordic walking.
I think you are correct. Nordic walking techniques don't seem to me to be particularly relevant to walking the Camino.

Edited!!
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
Nordic walking techniques seem to me to be particularly relevant to walking the Camino.
I’m curious why you say that, @dougfitz. My admittedly basic/simplistic understanding is that it’s a great way to enhance the cardio workout and work the upper body more. I think it would be hard to sustain over a whole day of walking.

Having seen my friend do nordic walking, she never puts her sticks in front of her. And her poles are MUCH higher than what would produce a 90 degree angle at the elbow if she were standing with them perpindicular to the ground. She never really brings them forward but I can’t explain it. Kind of like this video.


It would be great to hear from some experienced nordic walkers, since I am just basing my thoughts on second hand information.
 

C clearly

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Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I think Nordic Walking is a very different kettle of fish than what the average pilgrim does on the Camino... That may not affect the proper height for poles
I agree, but I think the difference is mainly in degree. The video that you posted said at the start "Nordic walking amplifies normal walking." When I look at those videos, I see the pole technique and rhythm that I try to use, but my stride is shorter and I do not "amplify" my normal walk. I try to conserve energy rather than expend it!

There is no way I could keep up that sort of effort all day!
 
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Regardless of the other reasons poles make sense (less joint trouble, etc.) I love the Nordic style for the following reason: Upper body workout! If you are at all tempted to walk the Camino to get in better shape I can attest to greater arm/chest strength (and muscles) after the walk.
 
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I go on Camino to enjoy myself. I don't care to learn Nordic walking. I usually only just use one of my hiking poles in general. I have no knee or ankle issues and don't try to firm up my biceps on the Camino...just my opinion for me.
.
 

trecile

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PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Regardless of the other reasons poles make sense (less joint trouble, etc.) I love the Nordic style for the following reason: Upper body workout! If you are at all tempted to walk the Camino to get in better shape I can attest to greater arm/chest strength (and muscles) after the walk.
One of the many reasons that I use poles when I'm on the Camino is to keep my arms toned. I'm generally not inclined to do push-ups or other arm exercises after a day walking on the Camino - I prefer to work them out while I'm walking.
 
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Regardless of the other reasons poles make sense (less joint trouble, etc.) I love the Nordic style for the following reason: Upper body workout! If you are at all tempted to walk the Camino to get in better shape I can attest to greater arm/chest strength (and muscles) after the walk.
I exercise twice a week with friends and we have been doing it consistently for over twelve years. The Camino is a break from all the routine at home for me...we are all different.
 
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Jeff Crawley

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Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Depends on what the purpose of the trekking poles, or single staff may be.
A lot of pilgrims walk with a single, tall staff. They don't use them in the same manner as a set of trekking poles would be used (if used properly). The tall staff isn't so much swinging in rhythm with the legs as the trekking poles are. Trekking poles in some ways mimic ski poles in cross country skiing. Nobody cross country skis with one pole that I know of.
Like I said, for optimum efficiency they should swing in sync with one's legs. As they say, it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing. :D
Challenge accepted

1660587171603.png
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
When I look at those videos, I see the pole technique and rhythm that I try to use, but my stride is shorter and I do not "amplify" my normal walk.
But I am virtually certain that your stride and your poles do not look like this. If the woman in this picture had her pole planted perpendicular to the ground, her elbow would have something closer to a 45% angle. I know this is not a big deal, but I attended my friend’s nordic walking class in Madrid once (as a spectator) because I had pooh-poohed the whole thing. What I learned is that my walking with hiking poles bears no resemblance to nordic walking. I use the poles like what others have described — a 90 degree angle at my elbow with the stick going straight down, with shortening and lengthening for ascents and descents. Avid nordic walkers get very prickly about the proper technique and I learned my lesson.

And I totally agree with @trecile about using them on the ascents, it makes a huge difference.
F88A2FC1-A420-4D4C-87EC-E1BD7705BD4B.jpeg
 

RJM

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Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Regardless of the other reasons poles make sense (less joint trouble, etc.) I love the Nordic style for the following reason: Upper body workout! If you are at all tempted to walk the Camino to get in better shape I can attest to greater arm/chest strength (and muscles) after the walk.
Ditto.
The Nordic style is exactly how I use my trekking poles. I find it efficient and I like the workout it gives my upper body. I love to walk the Camino for several reasons and physical fitness is one of them.
 
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Yes, another hiking pole question... I understand that one cannot check poles on flights out of Santiago. I plan to transport them using a disposable mailing tube as a checked bag on the flight to Paris. I am wondering how folks manage to bring their poles home?

Also, when training for the Camino I find I use my poles similar to C Clearly. Changing my grip is easier on the hands and allows me to adjust for ascents and descents without having adjusting my poles. I use the "plant and push" on ascents and when descending I place them in front of my steps for balance purposes. When planting and pushing I use the flat of my palm on top of the handles to translate some of the weight bearing load along my arms, shoulders and down to my hips. (A tip from a "mature" alpine trekker!) On the straightaway I get into a cadence and swing both of them together so they hit the ground every 4th step because the steady tink, tink, tink can get on one's nerves. Plus I like a little variety along the way!

I think the take-away here is to walk, and pole, your own Camino - some wise advice I've gleaned from many wise, experienced amigos who post on this forum!
 
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trecile

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Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Yes, another hiking pole question... I understand that one cannot check poles on flights out of Santiago
Not true. They can't be taken into the cabin as carry-on, but they definitely can go as checked baggage. In fact, if you are otherwise going carry-on only, every airline at the Santiago airport will check your poles for free. This is specific to the Santiago airport only.
 

dougfitz

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Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I love the Nordic style for the following reason: Upper body workout! If you are at all tempted to walk the Camino to get in better shape I can attest to greater arm/chest strength (and muscles) after the walk.
These benefits are available for all pole users. They are not unique to nordic walking. I know some nordic walking advocates claim this style has greater benefits, which may be true for short, more intense sessions, but will still accrue if you are using the poles properly and putting even a modicum of effort into taking some pressure off your lower joints.
I’m curious why you say that, @dougfitz. My admittedly basic/simplistic understanding is that it’s a great way to enhance the cardio workout and work the upper body more. I think it would be hard to sustain over a whole day of walking.
I didn't mean it!! The post has been edited. It took me a little while because I was flying back home from NZ this morning, and didn't see your and @Tom Hagger's posts until much later. My apologies for any confusion that I have created.

Thank you for the illustration in your post, which shows one of the major differences between nordic walking and trekking pole use. The nordic walker in the illustration has positioned the leading pole here so the tip is being planted only a little ahead of the trailing foot, quite some distance behind the front of the leading foot. Planting the tip close to the front of the leading foot is generally considered a sound approach on the level with trekking poles, giving a good balance between lift and drive. The increased angle of the pole away from the vertical for nordic walking ensures that there is a greater horizontal vector driving the walker forward. A trekking pole user with a more vertical pole would have a greater vertical, or lift, vector. This would do more to reduce the pressure on the lower joints, but provide less drive.

It may not be immediately obvious, but there is a continuum between these basic approaches, and one can fiddle with the length of the pole, the angle formed by the upper and lower arm, and the position of the arms beside the body, to get different combinations of lift and drive. And that is before any consideration of what approaches might work best for going up and down hills.
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I use Pacerpoles - love, love, love my Pacers - and according to the info and video online I am supposed to set them to a length that gives me a 90 degree elbow angle and plant the tip behind me, not in front. If you are using poles for balance, keeping them in front of you seems to be the best solution, but I use mine to take weight off my joints, stop my hands from swelling, as little rocket boosters up hills and as hand brakes going downhill. I did try to set them to the length suggested in the Pacerpole info, but found that I much prefer them a bit shorter. I have seen plenty of people using their poles 'wrong' (as in 'inefficiently' - the flailing like a mantis comment is spot on) but I don't tend to offer my unsolicited opinion. If it works for you, it works, full stop. If it doesn't, try different things until it does.
 
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Not true. They can't be taken into the cabin as carry-on, but they definitely can go as checked baggage. In fact, if you are otherwise going carry-on only, every airline at the Santiago airport will check your poles for free. This is specific to the Santiago airport only.
Yes. Poles would not be allowed in the cabin. I was referring to transporting them as checked baggage. Are you saying that Santiago allows them to be checked “naked?”
 
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trecile

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Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Yes. Poles would not be allowed in the cabin. I was referring to transporting them as checked baggage. Are you saying that Santiago allows them to be checked “naked?”
No, I believe that they need to be wrapped up, or in some kind of container.

You said
I understand that one cannot check poles on flights out of Santiago
Did you mean that you understand that they can't be carried on the plane??
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2022
No, I believe that they need to be wrapped up, or in some kind of container.

You said

Did you mean that you understand that they can't be carried on the plane??
Sorry for the confusion. I was asking how to transport poles as checked baggage from Santiago. I have access to mailing tubes and such at home but plan to dispose of those in Paris. I’m wondering how folks enclose their poles in an acceptable manner so as to be able to transport them home from Santiago.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Sorry for the confusion. I was asking how to transport poles as checked baggage from Santiago. I have access to mailing tubes and such at home but plan to dispose of those in Paris. I’m wondering how folks enclose their poles in an acceptable manner so as to be able to transport them home from Santiago.
I'm not sure this and any answer would be considered off-topic, and possibly moved, but for my part, they get strapped to the back with the pack harness. These days, I use a secondary carry pack for my backpack that encloses the pack and can also carry some other items. Before that, I would use gaffer tape or duck tape to secure the poles to the harness.

Note that I transport my poles to the camino the same way. There is probably another discussion in that statement alone that would definitely take this off-topic!!
 

Tom Hagger

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés, Norte, Primitivo, Português, Plata etc.
My poles always go in my rucksack as hold baggage. I have a pair of poles in four sections, which fit easily, but my pair in only three sections will fit only in my 65L rucksack. As Trecile says, they cannot be sent loose. Some poles come with a tough plastic bag, but anything reasonably secure will do if you have no other hold luggage. You should keep ferrules on the spikes, of course! Tom
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
When I walked the Ingles last year there was group of about 20 Nordic walkers from Sevilla.
@Bill's_Walking, interesting. I wonder whether they were consistently applying the full range of nordic walking techniques. I sometimes see nordic walking groups locally, and once they are away from smooth parkland and urban paths, they adapt their style and abandon the pushing out and speeding up they practice on smoother surfaces.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Inglese 2021
CF started 22022
@Bill's_Walking, interesting. I wonder whether they were consistently applying the full range of nordic walking techniques. I sometimes see nordic walking groups locally, and once they are away from smooth parkland and urban paths, they adapt their style and abandon the pushing out and speeding up they practice on smoother surfaces.
That I couldn't tell you. They cruised by so fast on the flat sections in the mornings, that I would only catchup to them at lunch or the end of the day!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
That I couldn't tell you. They cruised by so fast on the flat sections in the mornings, that I would only catchup to them at lunch or the end of the day!
It sounds like they might have been walking at least some part of the day using nordic walking. A great effort, in my view if they were.
 

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